Amazing stories of survival are beginning to emerge in the wake of the tornado that touched down in Oklahoma on Monday. Among the heroes is Rhonda Crosswhite, a teacher who used her body as a shield to protect six students from the devastation.
The sixth-grade teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, OK told “Today” show anchor Savannah Guthrie, "I was in a [bathroom] stall with some kids and it just started coming down, so I laid on top of them. One of my little boys just kept saying, 'I love you, I love you, please don't die with me.' But we're okay. We made it out."
Despite the 200 mph winds and flying debris, all of the children in the bathroom stall with Crosswhite survived, with only one minor injury among the kids. Rhonda walked away with just scrapes to her feet.
"I never thought I was going to die," she explained, adding later that she did pray, “‘God please take care of my kids.' And we're fine."
After the interview, Crosswhite received a heartfelt hug from Damian Britton, one of the students she saved.
"I told you we were going to be okay," she told him.
According to CNN, the twister hit Newcastle, OK at 2:56 PM and ripped through Moore approximately 30 to 40 minutes later. The two-mile-wide tornado left at least 24 people dead.
To donate to the tornado victims, visit RedCross.org.